Behind the Poem: “It is Enough”

Click here to read the poem “It is Enough,” published on this blog on May 17, 2012.

The Meaning
It had been one of those days at work. Long. Trying. One of those days where quittin’ time just couldn’t come soon enough. When it finally did, I grabbed my things and headed for the door. As I walked out of the building, my senses were struck by the piercing blue sky above me and the radiant sun that illuminated the semi-transparent leaves in the trees just overhead. The grass was vibrantly green. I was surrounded by life. More than that, I was alive to behold it all. And that, my friends, is called grace. In that moment it hit me that life in and of itself is a good gift from God and a sign of his great love toward me. It’s certainly not owed to me. And in that, if in nothing else, I can rejoice. No job, no boss, and no unruly class of fourth graders can take that grace away apart from God’s sovereign will. That moment inspired me to write the poem “It is Enough”.

Technical Stuff
This poem is written in iambic tetrameter. The word iambic refers to the beat of the poem. It reads ta-DUM-ta-DUM-ta-DUM-ta-DUM, where every second syllable is emphasized (for the most part; it can be fun to alter the general pattern at times for effect). The word tetrameter means that each line is comprised of eight syllables (and just in case you’re counting and I’ve goofed somewhere, be a doll and let me know).

The rhyme scheme is, well, of my own invention. I started this poem, as I do so many, not exactly sure what rhyme scheme I would use. I figured that out as I went. I like the rhyme scheme A, B, B, A, A, B, B, A, which is the rhyme scheme used for the first section of an Italian sonnet, but I soon realized there aren’t a ton of words that rhyme with alive that are poem worthy. So I got the idea to repeat the words “I am alive” to emphasize this central feeling that was so firmly pressed upon me as I walked out of my work that day. That’s what’s enough for me.

Read other installments of “Behind the Poem” here:
Behind the Poem: “Unrestrained”
Behind the Poem: “Innocence Lost, Glory Gained”

Have you read any poems on this blog that you’d like to hear the story behind? Leave me a comment and let me know.


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